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Microsoft (MSFT) officially launches Windows 8 at an NYC event (live blog) that's light on new...

Microsoft (MSFT) officially launches Windows 8 at an NYC event (live blog) that's light on new details. More importantly, a flurry of Windows 8 reviews are out. Like others, David Pogue isn't a fan of Microsoft's efforts to fuse two UIs: "TileWorld is fantastic for touch screens ... Desktop Windows is obviously designed for the mouse ... you can’t live exclusively in one world or the other." The Verge has similar concerns, but is more positive about Win. 8's tablet potential. "Picking up a tablet PC with Windows 8 makes an iPad feel immediately out of date." (more)
Comments (35)
  • I'm planning to upgrade to Windows 8 tomorrow. I've read mixed reviews online but all my friends who tried the release preview seemed to like it well enough.


    However, I think what's getting lost among all the UI discussion is that W8 actually improves performance significantly in several areas. Techspot has some benchmarks here ( and my tech-geek friends say they noticed a lot of the under-the-hood improvements as well.


    (Disclosure: long MSFT)
    25 Oct 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • That's a good point. Memory efficiency also seems to be a lot better. If Microsoft could offer an enterprise version that stripped out the tile UI, corporate uptake might be strong. But I doubt that'll happen.
    25 Oct 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • SA,


    I would love to hear your feedback when you're done. You're brave. I can't get over all the wasted time that happens with bug discovery in the initial phases of their launch. When SP1 comes out that will be my cue to give it a try.


    What concerns me is that the system is optimized for touch and yet most computers/laptops are not so unless you are buying a new piece of equipment you are likely to be frustrated with the upgrade. Do you have a touchscreen device?


    In the end, for business, efficiency trumps the "cool" factor so if it is more cumbersome to use but more fun that will be irrelevant because it won't be well received in the biz world. Lost time is lost profit and I can't see how the new upgrade will increase efficiency at this point. I haven't seen a compelling ROI explanation for why the upgrade will make business more efficient.


    This seems to be the most useful aspect from the Verge article:


    "In fact, the boot process is so fast on new hardware that you barely see the redesigned Windows logo that greets you ahead of an entirely new OS."


    This other excerpt got me though:


    "If you use Windows 8 on a desktop PC with a keyboard and mouse it can feel awkward at times, frustrating at others, and confusing. If you get past the initial training required it starts to make a lot of sense, but the risk of alienating users and creating another Vista-like perception catastrophe is great."


    I think it will flop initially like the original Newton from AAPL but in the long run it will be well received.


    Thanks for being a trail blazer.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine,


    First off, love the username.


    Second, and more on topic, I may post a review as an Instablog after trying it out for a few weeks. I'm totally with you on efficiency vs "cool." From what I've heard, the frustration over the tiles is overblown (apparently you just have to click a button to switch to desktop mode for the duration of your log-on?) but then again, some people can be quite tech illiterate.


    As for "touch optimization," I again don't know that I buy that either (with the caveat that I won't have actually tried it until tomorrow). From what I understand, you can still use the desktop Windows mode in much the same manner as you always have... you now just have a mode that's optimized for touchscreens in addition to that. My system is a two-year-old Dell laptop running a Westmere i5 that I upgraded with an SSD and 8 GB of RAM, so no, it's not touch-compatible. I am planning to eventually get one of the ultrabook/convertible type designs, though. Dell and Lenovo both have some really cool designs upcoming, see and I think the laptop and tablet form factors will converge over the next 2-3 years, Tim Cook's toaster/refrigerator analogy notwithstanding.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • Samir,


    While it is true that you can switch to desktop mode for some tasks, the start menu has been completely eliminated. That tile screen IS the start menu. Like many things on the computer, people who are very particular about the way they want to accomplish common tasks will simply need to do a lot of work arranging the tiles on that screen in a way that makes them happy. In desktop mode, they can also add a Quick Launch toolbar to the taskbar.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • Samir,


    You sound like an excellent potential reviewer for this product. It will be very interesting to get a straightforward un-biased review especially with someone using a non-touch, typical setup for an upgrade.


    I don't know what MS is forecasting for this launch so it will be crucial that it is well received by people like you especially knowing that only about 5% of machines are shipping with the touchscreen setup from what I have read.


    I got burned by Vista so I'm taking my time on getting my next box. Right now it works and I am afraid to change it :)
    25 Oct 2012, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • Just be sure to install in a separate partition.


    If you install over Windows 7 and want to go back (as many have), you will be in a world of hurt.


    Make sure you have the disks for every driver and every bit of software on your machine.


    I wish you the best. (queue the mournful music for soldiers marching to their deaths in battle)
    25 Oct 2012, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • I've been using the beta version for several months. Windows 8 boots much faster than 7 and works seamlessly with Windows Phone. This is the best product MSFT has launched yet.
    26 Oct 2012, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • I used Win 8 for a few weeks and I can confirm that it is significantly faster across the board than Win 7 (running apps, startup, you name it), which was already widely praised for its speed.


    I would also disagree with the assertion that because it has been optimized for touch, desktop users are getting the shaft. It took time to get used to the new ways of navigating the operating system, but there were very few things that were really annoying on my desktop PC.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • can we stilll be bullish?
    25 Oct 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • I'm a buyer probably not tomorrow but this weekend definitely. I don't have time to do the upgrade process (anyone see how long this takes? or if its expected to be lengthy?) during the week I don't think.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • I've been running Windows 8 RTM on a home desktop computer since it was available to MSDN subscribers. I agree that the experience is a little different, but as a litmus test I just asked my two teenagers which OS they preferred: both answered Windows 8 with no plans on using 7 anymore. My son has even declared that he is giving up using the Chrome browser for IE as he says IE is much better. Both log in using a hotmail account and have linked facebook with it. They like the integration. From my perspective, the administrator functions are a little hard to find, but I don't believe most people would be using them that often. Now that companies are officially supporting 8, the rest of computers will be moving to 8 as well.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • The reaction of your kids has been the same with folks I know running the RTM. Apple and Google fan boys fan try to talk Win8 down but it's all hot air. Win8 = Winning better grab some shares while they're a bargain.
    25 Oct 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • The person who commented, "When SP1 comes out that will be my cue to give it a try", sounds like someone who should not even be posting comments b/c they are still using XP, Vista or iOS or any of the last three Chrome releases. If he or she was a Windows 7 user, the experience would have been different.


    I agree the user experience is going to take some work to get used to. However so was getting used to trying to do work beyond reading emails and viewing media on my iPad.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • Hart,


    Blaming the users for a company's past failures is usually a losing strategy. I agree that Win 7 is very good compared to the Vista dog. I have been a first adopter many times and gotten burned by MS so sorry I am not walking that path again. I am glad that you will be one of those people fixing it for the rest of us.


    I thank you heartily for that.


    I was one of the users of the MS pen based phone in 2003 which was pretty good for the time but was totally useless from a productivity point of view because the touch functions still required a pen. Hopefully this one works great without a mouse otherwise it won't be well received.


    MS launches of new operating systems are always hit and miss - one sucks and one doesn't - and based upon the track record this is the potential "sucks" one.


    I hope I am wrong because I am looking forward to getting a new laptop with the new OS and I have been holding off for this launch. I personally cannot afford the downtime associated with buggy technology which is why I am in the cynical camp on this launch.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Here is a video showing the switch from tile to desktop view among other features.
    25 Oct 2012, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Looks pretty good to me. Use XP & 7. Don't care for 7 - 8 looks better.
    25 Oct 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • I predict the surface will be a dud. The keyboard is not useful unless you're on a plane: the setup isn't made for a lap, and most who have a desk have a pc already with networking. The "pad" concept eludes MSFT - not a surprise. W8 will not find wide adoption into enterprise. Developer app support is weak and will not gain the momentum needed to compete on par with iOS/Android. This is another status quo check the box from MSFT. Flatline.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • You're contradicted by the early reviews. "Come for the hardware, tolerate the software." Hardware is extremely positive in reviews, and people have used it on their laps just fine. And I think you hugely underestimate the appeal of the Surface Pro as a be-all-end-all device for enterprise customers, say, salesmen who split their time between the office and the road.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • software you can adjust too in my humble opinion, the surface will be a success because the expectations are already pretty low (ie no one expects it to take majority share in a crowded space).


    I think like WP8 it only needs to do moderately well to reflect well on MSFT.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, dead for using on a lap, just like every other tablet on the market. The only difference on Microsoft Surface is that the built in kickstand makes it more like using a laptop on a desk, other than you cannot change the screen angle. The other unknown is whether consumers will stick with large tablets, or migrate towards smaller tablets.



    Microsoft made Surface to be a reference design, and want their OEM companies to bring out other designs and solutions. There are not that many Microsoft stores, compared to other electronics retailers, or even in comparison to Apple Stores. Surface sales volume will neither make, nor break, Microsoft. Windows 8 and Office are the revenue generators.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • As widely reported and supported via CIO polls, W8 will not get immediate and wide enterprise adoption. Office already has so many alternatives that can read the files and convert them. These are competitive realities for MSFT's cash cow.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • No surprise there. Enterprises often stay a version or two behind in order to maintain a stable platform working environment. I think most of Windows 8 will actually go towards consumers initially. Some enterprise customers may not upgrade for as long as three years.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • Office is not the entirety of enterprise productivity, although it's worth mentioning that the inclusion of Office with the Surface must be considered when comparing its price to other devices' price. Moreover, I find it baffling that some people are simultaneously claiming that businesses will switch to iPads and force a totally unusable-for-enterprise device to work at the drop of a hat, but will not make minor adjustments to move to a newer Windows version. If I were an IT manager and I was under pressure to implement a tablet solution, I would be far more comfortable upgrading to Win 8 than switching to iOS. The iPad can't even print without a special app. No USB jump drives. iPad is dead in the water for most businessmen.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • I think the inclusion of iPads in the workplace either goes to executives who want a shiny and sleek device on their desk, or salesmen out to impress some clients. Productivity takes a back seat to presentation, and I state that as someone who has been using Apple laptops exclusively for over 18 years. If a version of a future iPad ran OS X, then the productivity argument makes more sense.


    In terms of business adoption of Microsoft Surface tablets, then the Pro version may make more sense than the RT version. Since the Microsoft Surface Pro will not be out until early 2013, I suspect early Surface RT sales will mostly go to consumers. Overall I still think consumers will be a larger purchasing group for Windows 8 than will enterprise users.
    25 Oct 2012, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • HH,


    I think you're right on all counts.
    25 Oct 2012, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • There are 2 keyboards available, one is a soft touch the other a traditional hard key. The hard key version is $10 more than the soft key but solves the issue with using in your lap.
    26 Oct 2012, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • 3 minutes of your time to get you up and about on windows 8.
    (no position)
    25 Oct 2012, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Same link as David Klein posted earlier - thought maybe it was different.
    25 Oct 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • I have been running Windows 8 in test long enough that I forget when I loaded the first beta. All of my initial concerns had evaporated long ago, this after becoming accustomed to the new navigation. It also helped to find all my old familiar “comfort” apps still sitting in System32 and SysWOW64! I now see this as a relatively easy to deploy solution for many of the users throughout our enterprise. In fact if your business is like ours, 80% of the users never work past their desktop anyway, heck maybe 95%, so a tile interface will make most of their lives easier, besides the desktop is still there. Windows 8 runs great under 2008r2 and 2012 domain servers; all our scripts and apps run fine, even the ERP app works great, go figure! I have been in IT since before the Charlie Chaplin IBM PC commercials, so I had my doubts in the beginning. In the past every other release of Windows was a flop, as they upgraded the kernel every other time, not the case here! After all it has its roots in the prior two releases at Version 6.2, and thus will be compatible with nearly all current Windows software. Our apps run faster and cleaner on Windows 8, it’s a very stable version. Runs great no matter how we run it or what we throw at it. My only compliant to date, has been the lack of dual monitor support with many of our video adapters throughout the beta and release candidates. I give this release two thumbs up (first time ever!)
    25 Oct 2012, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • For stock and bond traders, the lack of multi-monitor support is a glaring deal breaker. Shame on Microsoft.
    26 Oct 2012, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • Do you mean dual desktops? There is HDMI out for mirroring.
    26 Oct 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Don't do it
    Buy a Mac


    Vista is dog dookie
    25 Oct 2012, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • Vista was crap but Windows 7 has been awesome. Windows 8 takes thing to another level. Be open minded and you may be enlightened by the experience.
    26 Oct 2012, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • took some intc profits today at 21.94
    26 Oct 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
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